For the first time after eight years of fighting, a judge is going to look at the case of the Nigerian refugee. The supporters of the campaign have been called upon to show up in court and send letters to demonstrate Luqman has a strong network.
Luqman Onikosi came to the United Kingdom in 2007 to study a degree in Economics and International Relations at the University of Sussex. During his time at the university he was diagnosed with chronic liver disease due to contracting the Hepatitis B virus.
As time went by, his disease worsened, preventing him from working. Luqman applied to the Home Office for Leave to Remain on medical grounds, as effective treatment for his condition is not available in Nigeria. However, Theresa May, who at that time was Home Secretary, refused his application and threatened to deport him.
This resulted in a campaign in support of Luqman, who has been able to submit an application to remain in the United Kingdom while his case was considered on the grounds of human rights.
A crowd funding campaign also allowed Luqman to start a Master’s degree in Global Political Economy at the University of Sussex in 2014.
However, the following year, while writing his dissertation, he lost the right to study, as the university was informed that the Home Office had rejected his application.
The university cannot support Luqman to finish his studies, as it would breach the immigration rules and could consequently have its licence revoked.
After eight years of struggle, a judge will look at Luqman Onikosi’s case on Thursday 15 November. Members of the campaign “Stop the deportation of Luqman Onikosi” have organised the “Support Luqman in court” event in response.
They invite as many people as possible to show up in court and to send letters of support to demonstrate that Luqman has a wide network in the United Kingdom.
Members of the campaign said that “we want to demonstrate what a wonderful and valued human Luqman is by the sheer numbers there by his side. We won’t disrupt the proceedings, but the more of us show up, the more we can impress upon the judge that Luqman has a strong network of support here and needs to stay”.
They added that they “also need as many letters as possible from supporters to back up Luqman’s Article 8 claim of having a significant ‘private and family life’ here in the UK. These will be presented to the court. The most important thing is that letters are genuine and personal”. Luqman’s hearing will take place at 10 a.m. on Thursday 15 November 2018, in Central London, at the Tribunal Hearing Centre, Taylor House, 88 Roseberry Avenue, London, EC1R 4QU. Buses from Brighton to the Court will be organised nearer the time and instructions on how to get there will be provided for those travelling separately.
For further information on the event, please visit the Facebook event page.